ERIC Number: ED082822
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973
The Influence of Age and Materials on Young Children's Play Activities and Classification Learning. A Doctoral Dissertation.
Phinney, Jean Swift
This paper describes two studies conducted to investigate young children's manipulative responses to materials in a free play situation and to examine the resultant learning. Study I: Each child played with either a simple or a complex set of materials during three play sessions. Learning was measured on a posttest of classification ability. Results indicated that children's ability to interact with the materials was not related to the complexity of the materials, except in the posttest. Younger children performed better after playing with simple blocks, while older children performed better after playing with complex blocks, providing evidence that a match between age and complexity of materials may be a factor in learning classification. Study II: Only 3- and 5-year-olds were studied, new materials were added, and the old blocks were redesigned to emphasize differences between the simple and complex. Instead of three sessions with one set of materials, each child had one session each with three sets of materials. Results indicated there was no significant interaction of age and complexity of materials on classification activities. There were significant age differences in manipulation scores. The study provided information on the consistency of responses across different materials and the relationships between different types of responses to the same materials. (ST)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Economic Opportunity, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Early Childhood Research Center.